Well, here it is guys. The final chapter. I hope you've all enjoyed reading it as much as I've enjoyed writing it...and going by your wonderful comments, you have! Yay! So, I really, really hope you enjoy this last chapter just as much! So, we have angst and that promised chick flick moment, and a few laughs...hopefully :/ Anyway, I'll let you get to it.
Dean was sweating profusely by the time he and Bobby got Sam situated in the twin bed he used while staying at Bobby's house. Both had been tempted to just lay him out on the couch when they got him home from Doc Turner's place, but the kid needed room to stretch out and to move. One roll on the couch and he'd be on the floor and there was no way either man was going to chance another injury to the already hurting young man. Sam's fever was down and he was sleeping more soundly, but his breathing still had that sound to it. That sound that made Dean want to wrap his brother in his arms to take the pain away. Doc Turner had assured both he and Bobby that Sam was on the mend and that they had caught the pneumonia soon enough so as to not cause Sam too much trouble, but Dean, being the worrier he was when it came to his kid brother would not rest until Sam was breathing normally. He sat down on the second bed in the room and wearily scrubbed a hand over his face. It had been a long night and he was beat, but Sam was still sick and hurting. Sam still needed him so any thought of rest was thrown out the window the second it even dared to enter his mind. Bobby's gruff voice cut through the thoughts swirling in Dean's head and the younger hunter glanced up with glassy eyes into the stern face of his surrogate father.
"What did you say?" Dean asked tiredly.
"I said you need to get yourself a shower then some shut eye," Bobby groused impatiently. "I'll watch over the kid for now."
"No…I gotta be here if he wakes up Bobby. I can sleep once I know he's okay," Dean answered, his green eyes trailing back over to Sam's lax face.
"What…so you can get sick ya'self? Sam needs you, Dean…"
"That's my point. He needs me to be the first face he sees when he wakes up. He needs to know that I'm here for him. He needs…"
"He needs you healthy and rested. Doc said he's going to be out for some hours after the last shot of pain meds he gave him. We were lucky he was awake enough to half way help in getting himself up those stairs. The kid is exhausted…he ain't going to wake up before you and if he does show signs of waking, I'll wake you up right away," Bobby insisted.
Dean watched Sam's chest rise and fall then looked up at his old friend. "You promise?" he asked, his heart screaming at him to resist, but his body begging him for rest.
"Of course, ya damned idjit! I just said I would didn't I?" Bobby snapped.
Dean held his hands up in front of him and grinned up at the older hunter. "Whoa, Tyson…take it easy. Maybe you're the one who needs some more sleep. Cranky much? Geez," he spouted off as he rose to his feet.
"Whatever, Dean…just get a shower will ya…you're stinking up the room," Bobby hissed as he dragged a wooden chair around Dean and placed it between the two beds. "I'll be here so don't worry," he added as he took a seat.
Dean lifted an arm and took a whiff of his underarm then crinkled his nose in disgust. "Yeah, I guess you got a point, old man. I'll take a shower, but only 'cause you asked so sweetly…and I'll take a nap, but only for a few hours then you wake me up," he said.
"You need more than a few hours sleep you dumb ox. I told you I'd get you up if he showed signs of waking, Dean," Bobby objected.
"Take it or leave it."
Bobby shook his head as he glared up at the younger man. "Fine…I'll wake your stubborn ass up in a few hours," he muttered as Dean grinned and walked out of the room, Bobby's rant continuing to follow him down the hall until he slipped into the bathroom and shut the door.
Bobby grumbled as Dean left the room, the older man leaning back in his chair so as to see as far down the hallway as he could. When he was sure Dean was out of sight and earshot he turned his attention to Sam. His eyes softened as he gazed upon Sam's lax face and he reached out to tenderly brush a stray strand of hair from the sleeping man's eyes. He'd never show such a display of affection if there was anybody to witness it, but he couldn't help but want to offer Sam any sort of comfort he could, even if the kid wasn't conscious to know it.
"Kid, you're killing me, you know that. Slowly, but surely you're killing me. I can't stand seeing you like this…blaming yourself for things you had no control over, getting yourself beat to hell because I was so stubborn that I couldn't see how much I was driving you away," Bobby said softly as he continued to watch Sam sleep. "I know you need to hear all of this when you're awake, and you will…I just have to get some of this out now or…ah, hell."
Bobby dropped his eyes and dragged one hand roughly over the wetness that now covered his cheeks. It'd been a long time since the man had cried and he was aghast that it was happening now. Leave it to a gargantuan lummox with shaggy brown hair and soft, dewy eyes to bring out the waterworks in him now. Once he was able to bring himself under control, Bobby looked back up at his young charge. Still asleep, Sam hadn't heard or seen a thing and Bobby was thankful for the strong drugs Doc Turner had pumped into the young man. He straightened in his chair and put on his best curmudgeonly face, but not before making sure that Sam's pillow was just right and the blanket was pulled up higher on his chest. It wasn't but a few more minutes before Dean stepped into the room, hair dripping wet and raggedy towel wrapped around his waist. The younger man hurriedly dressed in his sleeping clothes then walked in between the beds and stood behind Bobby, his green eyes checking his brother from head to toe before he finally allowed himself to relax a little.
"Sam's fine. Nothing has happened to him since you went to take your shower and believe it or not, I am capable of taking care of the kid," Bobby grumbled as he turned and looked up at Dean. "Now, get to bed before I kick your butt from here to Montana," he added gruffly.
"Okay…okay. Two hours, Bobby, then you wake me up," Dean said as he crawled under the covers of the other bed and turned on his side so he was facing his friend and brother.
"I'll wake you in three," Bobby countered, the old man narrowing his eyes when Dean opened his mouth to protest.
"Fine…three hours, but if he starts to…"
"I know, Dean. If he starts to wake up, I'll wake you up first. Geez, I'm not so old that I'm senile…I can remember things that were just discussed a few minutes ago," Bobby grouched grumpily.
"Oookay…it seems someone needs to get a little or something. You maybe need some Midol, Bobby?" Dean quipped amusedly.
"Sleep…now! Unless you want this old man's boot up your damned keester!" Bobby growled.
Dean chuckled as he rested his head on his pillow. He closed his eyes and allowed himself to finally rest. Sam was in good hands and Dean knew Bobby would never let him miss his brother's awakening. Bobby shook his head as he listened to Dean's breathing even out. He scooted his chair around so he could see both Winchester brothers. He didn't just have Sam to keep watch over…he had two young men who meant the world to him counting on him to make sure they were safe and he'd be damned if he let those two boys down.
sn sn sn sn sn sn sn sn sn sn sn sn sn
Dean was awake and sitting next to Sam's bed when the younger brother began to stir. Dean knew the signs well. The way Sam scrunched up his eyes and crinkled his nose. The soft sounds he would make as he rolled his head to one side. Since he was a young child, these were the indications that the kid was waking up and Dean waited in anticipation to see his brother's hazel eyes finally open and aware.
Some time while Dean was sleeping, Sam's breathing had improved and the older hunter was beside himself with relief. Bobby had wordlessly vacated his post when Dean had sat up and was now down in the kitchen fixing dinner. Dean had quickly dressed then sat down in the chair thus beginning his watch over his recovering sibling. Now, after nearly two hours of Dean sitting and watching, Sam was waking up. Dean scooted closer to the bed and leaned over his knees. He wanted to make sure Sam knew he wasn't alone the second he opened his eyes. It didn't take long before Sam's eyes fluttered open and stared unfocused up at Dean's face. Dean knew the second Sam was able to focus his eyes and recognize who stared down at him because the look of confusion and subtle fear was replaced with one of relief and trust. Dean smiled as he reached out and gently grasped Sam's arm.
"Hey, Sammy…nice to see you awake," Dean said softly.
"D'n? What hapn'd?" Sam croaked.
Dean poured a glass of water from the small pitcher Bobby had placed there sometime during his watch then helped Sam sit up. Once Sam was comfortable and safely sitting up against the headboard, Dean handed him the glass of water which the young man gratefully accepted. He drained the glass before Dean had a chance to pull it away. "I hope you don't puke that all back up, kid," he said as he placed the glass on the bedside table.
"Dean?" Sam asked meekly.
"You went out and got shitfaced last night then you got yourself beat nearly to death," Dean explained, his voice shaky as the memory of seeing Sam nearly unconscious on the bar floor came back to him full force. "I nearly drove myself crazy looking for you. I was so worried…Bobby was too."
Sam coughed then clenched his hand over his chest, his face paling at the pain that tore through him as he continued to cough. Dean jumped over to the bed and sat facing Sam then pulled the younger man forward and into his arms. "Shallow breaths, Sam. You got punched in the sternum…that's why it hurts so much," he said as he pressed Sam's head against his chest. The coughing died down then finally ceased and Sam collapsed into Dean's arms as his breathing calmed. Suddenly, Dean felt Sam's fingers against his chest and he leaned back a bit while gently pushing Sam back at the same time. He looked down and drew in a quick breath when he saw what Sam was looking at. Wide, hazel eyes looked up and Dean nearly lost it right then and there. Sam was holding the amulet in his fingers, the younger brother's eyes glistening as tears welled then spilled over his lashes.
"D-Dean…where…what…" Sam stammered as he dropped his gaze back to the object that meant so much to him.
"It's a long story, Sammy. Bobby gave me your letter last night, after I found you and got you home," Dean explained as he eased Sam back against his pillow. "I never thought I'd see this again," he added as he looked down at his chest. "Thank you."
Sam looked up and suddenly Dean was looking at someone who looked much younger than his years. Sam smiled softly as he let the amulet drop from his fingers. "I…I don't understand. Why did Bobby wait so long to give it to you?" he whispered.
"He just got the package, Sammy. It'd been lost or something and then it got delivered and…well, I'll let Bobby explain it all to you. The important thing is that it's here now. I'm so sorry…I know what you must've been thinking," Dean answered.
"No…it's not your fault, Dean. I…I don't know…I should've…"
"I'm glad you got it back, Sammy. I've regretted throwing it away and I'm sorry for hurting you by doing that," Dean interrupted.
"I understand why you did it, Dean."
"No, there's no excuse for what I did. You're my brother and no matter how mad or upset or hurt I was, I had no right to throw the necklace away. It's not just a necklace…not to me and I know it's not to you either. I did a lot of hurting you too, Sam…"
"I deserved it…I deserved all of it…"
"No you didn't. Sammy…I read your letter. The things you did that made me so mad…you were just doing them for me and I can see that now. I should…"
"Uh, Dean…you don't have to do this…"
"I don't have to do what?"
"This…you don't have to talk about this or anything. You're wearing the necklace…that's all I need," Sam answered.
Dean met Sam's wide eyes and shrugged. "Yeah, well maybe I need to talk about it. There's a lot I couldn't see that your letter opened up for me. I should have realized why you were doing what you did. I thought you were betraying me, but you weren't. You were doing the only thing you thought you could do. I left you alone, Sammy…I left you with all that guilt and grief and then I came back and expected you to be just fine. I expected you to handle what I couldn't handle. Your death drove me to make that deal, yet when my time came, I fully expected you to just move on. I never even thought about how I'd be leaving you open and vulnerable to Ruby…and then when I found out about her, I treated you like crap. God, I hated her so much…still do, but she saved your life, Sammy. If it weren't for her, I'd have come back and not had my brother anymore and I couldn't have lived with that."
"But…I didn't listen to you. I killed Lilith and opened the final seal and…"
"And what was I trying to do? I was trying to kill Lilith too, Sammy. Besides, I opened the first seal, just like they expected me to. We were both used and manipulated. We both did and said things that neither one of us meant, but look now…look who's still standing. We are…we won. You sacrificed everything…for me, for Bobby…for the whole world. You fought Lucifer and won…"
"Yeah…I had to drink gallons of demon blood to do it though," Sam said with disgust.
"No, Sammy. It wasn't the demon blood that gave you the strength to fight your way to the surface. I saw your eyes when you finally broke free. I don't know what it was exactly, but I do know it wasn't the demon blood."
Sam's eyes widened and he sat forward and grasped Dean's forearm. "Sammy? You okay?" Dean asked nervously, green eyes darting over Sam's face and body before moving up to meet Sam's gaze.
"It was you," Sam whispered.
"It was you…when Lucifer was beating you to death using my fists and I was trying so hard…I was screaming so loud…I saw…I…"
"You saw what, Sammy?"
"The Impala…I saw us scratching our initials into the body…the green army guys…always us, Dean…brothers doing what brothers do…playing, laughing…you taking care of me, always taking care of me…protecting me. I saw it all and I was able to fight him. You gave me the strength, Dean! I didn't beat Lucifer on my own…we did it! I remember…I remember now," Sam cried, hazel eyes swimming as he gazed intently at his brother.
Dean looked down at Sam's hand wrapped around his forearm and took a deep breath. His eyes were stinging, his vision blurry as he looked through his own tears. He looked up and pursed his lips. "I'm sorry, Sammy," he finally said. "I'm sorry for the way I treated you. I'm sorry for doubting you, for thinking you betrayed me. You're my brother and I love you so much and…well, I kind of lost sight of that for a while, but…"
Dean cocked his head as he gazed at the serious look on Sam's face. "What?" he asked nervously.
Sam sighed and leaned back against his pillow once more then dropped his chin to his chest. "Love means never having to say you're sorry," he whispered, his lips curling up as he gazed at Dean through chocolate colored fringe.
Dean's jaw dropped as he watched Sam begin to giggle. "Did you…did you just quote a line from Love Story to me? I was being all serious there and you quote Love Story!" he cried incredulously.
Sam burst out laughing, the action causing pain to tear through the center of his chest. He grabbed his chest and pressed as the laughter grew. Dean lunged forward and grabbed his brother in his arms. "Sammy! Take it easy! Are you okay?" he cried.
"You…you should've seen your f-face…oh my god…it was…priceless!" Sam stammered as his laughter finally began to subside.
Dean pushed Sam back against his pillow and glared at the younger man as Sam pressed his hand to his chest and gasped through the pain. "Not funny, Sam! Serves you right!" he hissed, though his eyes only conveyed concern.
"I'm sorry…it's just…you were getting pretty chick flicky there. I didn't want your head to explode," Sam said after he was finally able to catch his breath.
Dean shook his head and snorted. "Yeah, well you didn't have to quote Love Story…ya little bitch!"
"What? You quote movies all the time to me!" Sam cried.
"Yeah…manly movies with blood and explosions and car chases," Dean objected.
"Hmmm…seems to me I once heard you say something about me being the wind beneath your wings?" Sam said with a smirk.
"I was drunk! And you said you'd never mention that again!" Dean cried indignantly.
"Uh…am I intruding on something?" Bobby's gruff voice called and both brothers looked up at the man who stood in the doorway, food tray in hand.
"Sam was being a dick," Dean muttered.
"Well, Dean was going all soft so…"
"Yeah, yeah…I don't want to know. I brought you both something to eat," Bobby said, cutting off Sam as he stepped up to the bed. "Sam, you get soup for now until I know you can keep food down. Hope that's okay," he added.
Sam dropped his eyes as his smiled slipped away. "It's fine, Bobby…thank you," he whispered.
Bobby, seeing Sam literally shrink away from him swore under his breath at himself. He hadn't meant to sound short and now he had one more thing to apologize for. He looked at Dean and the young man nodded as he stood. "Uh…I'll just take my food over here, Bobby," Dean said as he plopped down on his bed.
Bobby set the tray down on the chair between the beds then handed Dean his plate. He then picked the tray up and settled it on Sam's lap. "Here, Sam. I made you tomato…that's still your favorite isn't it?" he asked, his tired eyes watching as Sam lifted his face. He smiled when Sam met his gaze.
"Um…yeah…it is. You remembered that?" Sam replied softly.
"Of course I remembered…made you enough tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches throughout the years, kiddo. Look, Sam…we need to talk, but you need to eat first, okay? I'll leave you and your brother to finish then we'll talk?" Bobby said.
"Yeah…sure…whatever you say, Bobby," Sam answered reluctantly.
Bobby patted Sam's arm and smiled again as he stood. He turned and left the two brothers to eat their dinners. He'd give them some time then he'd come back up and make Dean take the dishes down and wash them. He needed to clear the air with Sam…the sooner, the better by the looks of it, he thought.
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Sam watched Dean walk out of the room with the dish laden tray in hand and he swallowed nervously when he looked up to meet Bobby's eyes. "So, what did you want to talk about, Bobby? I'm really sorry about your office. I…"
"I don't give a rat's ass about my office, Sam. You have nothin' to apologize for so just stop right there," Bobby said as he sat down on the chair next to Sam's bed. "Now me on the other hand…I have a lot to apologize for," he added.
"What? What would you need to apologize for? You've been nothing but good to me and Dean," Sam objected.
"No, Sam. I haven't been good to you lately. I've been acting like a jackass. I've been avoiding be around you…haven't looked you in the eye since you woke up…"
"Bobby…I killed you. Then I…"
"You didn't kill me, Sam. Lucifer did that. You had no control over what happened in that cemetery. And as for what happened later…well, you had no control over that either. I know you would never hurt me, kiddo…that you'd rather die than to hurt me or your brother. Dean knows that too and he doesn't blame you for anything that happened when you didn't have your soul. Neither do I," Bobby said.
"I should have been stronger. I should have never let Lucifer get control of me."
"Sam, the important thing is that you fought your way back. You stopped the big bad and now you're back with us. That's all that matters to your brother and me. Now, about that package you sent…"
"I'm sorry, Bobby. I should have just left it alone. I shouldn't have pushed you…"
"No more apologies, son. That letter was delivered a few weeks ago. It was lost somewhere along the line. I never got the chance to open it and then somehow it got knocked off my desk. I had completely forgotten about it when you were asking about a package. I'm sorry I said I must've thrown it away. Things have just been really hectic lately, as you know and…well, that's no excuse, but anyway…last night after you ran out of here, I found that package and that's when it all hit me. Son, I read your letter and…well, it knocked some sense into me, that's for sure. Made me realize what I was doing to you…the way I was acting around you was uncalled for and I'm sorry."
"You don't need to be sorry, Bobby. I…"
"I love you, Sam…you're like a son to me. Both you and Dean are and I never would be able to forgive myself if something worse would've happened to you last night because of my stubbornness," Bobby interrupted, the words spilling from his mouth in a hurried rush.
"Wh…you love me? I don't know what to say, Bobby."
"Sam, did you think I didn't care about you? That I didn't love you?"
Sam dropped his eyes and sighed. "Well, I…I thought that after everything…well, I thought you hated me," he answered.
"Sam, I'm sorry. Even when I was out of sorts and all, I still cared about you, son. I mean, deep down I knew it wasn't you and I knew that eventually I'd come around. I'm just sorry that it had to come down to a letter to give me the kick in the pants I needed. I never should have doubted my trust in you."
Sam looked up and gave Bobby a small, warm smile. "So, are we good now, Bobby?" he asked coyly.
Bobby smiled and patted Sam's shoulder. "We're more than good, son," he answered.
Sam's smile broadened, lighting up the entire room and filling Bobby's heart. "Thanks, Bobby," he said sleepily before relaxing back into the pillow behind him and closing his eyes. In seconds, he was sound asleep
Bobby smiled then looked over as movement caught his eye. Dean stood in the doorway of the room, a grin brightening his handsome face. Dean strolled into the room and sat on the end of Sam's bed facing his brother and surrogate father. "So, did you bore him into unconsciousness?" he asked playfully.
"Shhhh, kid needs all the sleep he can get," Bobby reprimanded.
Dean rolled his eyes then looked at his friend intently. "You and Sam get things straightened out? You two good now?" he asked.
Bobby looked over at Sam and nodded. "Yeah. We're good," he answered with all the faith in the world that he and his boys would always be good with each other, no matter what life, or fate or anything else had to throw at them. They were family after all.
Okay...that's it. It's done...over and out! So, I hope you'll let me know if you liked the ending or not. I really, really had an awesome time writing this one. I'm not sure why...maybe it's because I just want that darned amulet back around Dean's neck so badly! I think we all want that huh? Well, thanks for reading guys...you're the best! I love you all. Take care.